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Cavan garda whistleblowers "vindicated" by report

Thursday, 13th March, 2014 4:31pm

Cavan garda whistleblowers

Former garda John Wilson says the Cavanman and Mountnugent's Sgt Maurice McCabe are "vindicated" by a recent report on penalty points.

Paul Neilan

There were hundreds of penalty points terminated around the county in the years 2011 and 2012, according to a garda report, which was set up in the wake of the actions of two Cavan garda whistleblowers.
According to the report by the Garda Inspectorate, in 2011 there were 8,202 fixed charge notices issued by gardai in the county, and a total of 359 terminations.

The following year there were 5,115 issued and 270 terminations.
The penalty points controversy broke last year when former Garda John Wilson, from Cavan, and Mountnugent man, Sgt Maurice McCabe, who is based in Mullingar Garda Station, went public with their allegations of endemic preferential treatment running throughout the force on penalty terminations.
The two men’s actions were described by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan as “disgusting” in the Public Accounts Committee and the two men now appear vindicated by the recommendations of the report, published yesterday (Wednesday, March 12).
Figures show that across the Cavan-Monaghan Garda District there were 13,534 notices issued in 2011 with 585 terminated - 4.32%.
In 2012 there were 8,935 issued, 510 terminated - 5.7%.
In 2011, Cavan Town district terminated 224 notices (4.27%), Bailieborough 129 (3.9) and Ballyconnell just six (2.51%).
the following year Cavan cancelled 101 (4.77%), Ballyconnell just five (2.28%) and Bailieborough 164 (5.9%).
Monaghan Garda District had the highest percentage of the Cavan-Monaghan Garda Division in 2012 with 120 terminations, or 6.47%.
The two Cavanmen are on a collision course with the commissioner with John Wilson telling The Irish Independent today that feels “totally vindicated” by the report and criticised the commissioner.
“Any other police commissioner who called members of his police services disgusting for reporting alleged wrongdoing in the organisation would have been dismissed within 24 hours,” said Mr Wilson, who has recently decided to run in the Cavan Town-Belturbet electoral area in May as an Independent candidate.
The report found “inconsistent and widespread breaches” in the penalty points system and made several reforming recommendations, including that cancellations should be done from a centralised office.
Nationwide in 2011, 514,959 penalty notices were issued and 22,781 were cancelled (4.4%). In 2012, the figure slightly increased to 4.49% when 21,960 were cancelled around the country.
Last week around 150 people came to a vigil at Mullingar Garda Station in support of Sgt McCabe and Mr Wilson. Justice Minister Alan Shatter has now agreed that the system needs to be overhauled after the report said that the State lost just shy of €7.5M from cancelled notices.